Koikawa gets the spotlight this time!

Episode 3 Summary:

One day during training, Jinbei sees the always drinking Koikawa slice up a rock cleanly with his sword.  Amazed by this, Jinbei decides to become Koikawa’s student in order to learn his sword techniques.  While following Koikawa on patrol, Jinbei notices that the townspeople of Edo actually hate Koikawa, calling him a murderer.  Later on, the two men overhear some police talking about the recent string serial burglaries.

That night, Koikawa ends up getting framed for a burglary, and is put in jail.  Jinbei ends up busting him out and the two make a run for it in the night.  Because of this act, Kotori (Mr. Glasses man) has to apologize to the head magistrate for this.  While he’s there, Kotori reveals a bit about Koikawa’s past.  Koikawa was the son of the Black Spider gang, and his mother (whom he loved dearly) was killed, causing him to go mad with rage.  He ended up slaughtering many people, 99 in all.  That’s why there are so many people that want him dead.


Okiku, Koikawa’s mother.

Jinbei and Koikawa aren’t able to run very far, and are soon cornered by the police.  But then a giant praying mantis attacks!  One of the policemen slashes at Koikawa’s back when he’s distracted with fighting the mantis, as revenge for Koikawa killing his comrades.  Just as Koikawa and the other policemen are about to fight, Jinbei rushes in to stop them.  With Jinbei’s help, Koikawa is able to kill the mantis even with his injury.  Turns out that the mantis was the one behind the burglaries, as its stomach was filled with gold.  So Koikawa is cleared of his crimes, and he and Jinbei end up spending the night drinking tea.


And the aftermath of the fight.

Episode 4 Summary:


We now turn our attention to Tenma, the youngest member of the Insect Magistrates.  He has a somewhat haughty attitude towards his elders, which pisses off Koikawa and Hibachi.  One night, Jinbei accidentally discovers Tenma’s secret: he’s actually deathly afraid of bugs, especially crawling, wriggling bugs.  The phobia arose out of a rather traumatic incident in his younger days.  Jinbei promises Tenma that he won’t tell anyone about this, but unfortunately Koikawa and Hibachi overhear anyway.

This series has the best faces.

The next day, Jinbei tries to train Tenma to overcome his fear.  However, things take a turn for the worse when Hibachi and Koikawa arrive on the scene, pranking Tenma with a bag full of centipedes for his haughty attitude the day before.  Tenma, thinking that Jinbei lied about keeping his phobia a secret, angrily runs off.  Before running after the boy, Jinbei angrily lectures his two teammates and they end up feeling a bit bad for their cruel prank afterwards.


Jinbei soon finds Tenma on the streets as he’s receiving a gift from a young boy who’s a fan of his.  Suddenly, another bug attacks the city!  And this time, it’s a giant centipede.  Tenma is obviously terrified.  But his other three teammates are having trouble defeating the bug, as it keeps burrowing underground.  Cheered on by the young boy from before, Tenma gains the courage to temporarily overcome his fear in order to knock the centipede in the air with his paper dolls.  This gives Jinbei, Hibachi, and Koikawa the chance they needed to slice up the bug and the day is saved.

By the way, Tenma’s given his paper dolls names; which I think is really cute.

Not long after that, Jinbei is given a mission by Kotori: he’s to exterminate the bugs at a mansion with Mugai, his idol.

My Opinion:

Mushibugyou continues to prove to me that it is a very shonen-styled series.  But even so, I continue to enjoy it.  The story obviously isn’t that complex (at least, so far), but the characters are quite fun to watch and the battles (despite following a strict “monster of the week” formula) are pretty cool.

In these two episodes, we explore Koikawa’s and Tenma’s characters.  I’m really glad that we’re getting the “character arcs” out of the way first.  It might seem a bit lazy to have the first few episodes of Mushibugyou just introducing the characters in-depth, but in this case it works because Jinbei is a new-comer.  Therefore we’re just following along with him as he gets to know his teammates better.

I initially disliked Koikawa for his rough attitude, but I’m glad he ended up becoming a far more complex character than I thought.  His back-story was probably the saddest one we’ve seen so far (though whether Mugai’s is sadder is still yet to be seen).  Koikawa is definitely not a saint by any means, having murdered 99 people in all, but it does appear that he’s turned his attention to killing bugs instead of people.  And then there was Tenma.  His episode was the most adorable thing!  But, as cute as it was, I’m sad that we never really got much of his back-story, other than how he developed his phobia of bugs.  It’s pretty heavily implied that his parents may be dead, due to the shrine he keeps of them in his room.  So I’m a little sad that most of his back-story got skipped over, especially when you remember how much the other characters got.  Now it seems the only character-centric episode left is Mugai’s, who also has gotten the least screen time so far.

Overall, I thought these were two good episodes.  I think some people may find Jinbei a bit annoying, with his really loud attitude and utter naiveté, but I rather like him.  He’s not a very original character, but it’s sometimes just a really nice thing to have such an optimistic character like him, especially with the slew of cynical and sarcastic male leads we’ve been having in anime lately.  Animation is still lovely as ever, and the fanservice still annoys me somewhat.  I suppose it’s inevitable that I’m going to complain about the fanservice in every single review of this series, because the manga is listed as being an “ecchi” series (among other genres).  I honestly still find the fanservice to be very forced and severely out of place in the anime.  Other than that, Mushibugyou is proving to be a rather solid series.  This series is very heavily aimed at teens, so it’s not that “deep” of a series, but it’s nonetheless entertaining and fun to watch.

Out of five for both episodes:

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This series isn’t even gonna try to hide how gay Jinbei is for Mugai, are they?